Fedoras. Meat dresses. Handlebar mustaches. Full-body sweaters. Whatever these are.
The world of fashion has been known to make some wild (see: questionable) decisions, and I won’t pretend to be able to keep up with every new trend that hits the runway. However, there is one brilliant fashion choice that has grabbed my attention: LEDs.
Believe it or not, there is actually remarkable work being done out there to make light-emitting diodes wearable. Rapid technological reforms and the continued miniaturization of LED lighting have allowed LEDs to be embedded directly into fabrics to create myriad new possibilities.
Already, there are markets for dresses with hundreds of ingrained, color-changing LED lights and for those with waves of LEDs that create moving patterns along the fabric. This impressive LED catsuit already exists. The cool, low-voltage, and subtle luminosity of LEDs can make an article of clothing stand out, yet allow its wearer to maintain some kind of social decorum.
Making a Statement, Literally, with LED Clothing
There are already shirts, dresses, jackets, etc., that can be connected to smartphones to display text and messages from social media. At sporting events, concerts, trade shows, and other events where people need to share messages (“I <3 Dr. Bulb,” for example), LEDs can now transform anyone and everyone into a walking message board.
Imagine a model casually walking through a convention center with an LED blouse directing potential customers to a particular booth, or another who can display the products a company has to offer. Apparently, LED-lit mouthguards have even made their way into overseas marketing campaigns. With a little creativity, wearable LED technology can be both eye-catching and informative, if not perfect for spreading good vibes at your favorite music festival.
LED Illumination with Purpose
The future of LED clothing is limited only by the imagination of its designers and users. There are already articles of clothing that change color with the touch of a sensor and others that can get lighter or darker based on how warm it is outside. This is just one way LEDs cleverly merge function with fashion.
In the near future, a runner may be able to don a jogging suit that displays his or her heart rate, hydration rate, blood pressure, etc., on their sleeves. In hospitals, patients could wear sensored clothing that would not only show their vital information, but also alert doctors of an emergency if those vitals start to decline.
Big Names in LED Fashion
The LED clothing barrier has already been breached by celebrities such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. Tay-Tay (that’s what the kids call her, right?) has in the past adorned herself, her backup dancers, and even the props in their hands with hundreds of LED lights. As the technology becomes more affordable and versatile, we can expect illuminated clothing to be adopted by other celebrities and, maybe, the rest of us, too.
What Do You Think? Would you wear LED clothing? Besides hospitals and athletes, can you think of any other applications for LED clothing? Throw me a few ideas in the comments below!